Losing the ability to make our own financial and welfare decisions can be an uncomfortable thought; however, sadly, for some people this is the reality of life. More and more clients are becoming aware of the importance of granting a Power of Attorney.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a formal document authorising someone you trust to act on your behalf. It can only be granted when you have full mental capacity. Therefore, it is crucial that the document be prepared as early as possible. Many people believe that Powers of Attorney are only required for the elderly. While the urgency to grant a Power of Attorney may be due to the onset of a degenerative illness such as dementia, they are also extremely important where an individual becomes mentally incapable due to an accident or illness.
In Scots law, there are two types of Powers of Attorney
Power of Attorney
Continuing – This covers financial and business affairs and can be brought into operation at any time, i.e. before you lose capacity with your consent.
Welfare – This covers personal affairs and can only be brought into operation if capacity is lost.
Powers of Attorney can be designed to cater to present and future requirements. Your situation can quickly change and it is important to have powers in place that cover all of your needs.
Donnie MacLeod, a Partner in our Crieff office commented: “We work with many clients with different needs and requirements and we can almost always incorporate these into a Power of Attorney.
It is important that our clients consider granting a Power of Attorney at an early stage. If a client has lost capacity (which can be confirmed by a doctor), and ongoing financial and welfare decisions need to be made for them, a Guardian will need to be appointed through the Court. This is a time consuming and costly process, which can be easily avoided at the outset by putting a Power of Attorney in place.”
At Miller Hendry we are here to take the pressure off of these future decisions by working with you to design a tailor-made Power of Attorney that caters to all of your needs.
For further advice or information on this or other legal issues, visit www.millerhendry.co.uk